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Who Am I?


Newton's Dark Secrets homepage

For ages 12 and older.

Newton has often been called the father of physics because his fundamental investigations into motion and gravity became the foundation of our knowledge of the physical world. Today's physicists are much more likely to specialize in a main area of interest. Match three of the present-day scientists below to their descriptions, and then see if you can answer the question about each scientist.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Alan Guth
Stephen Hawking
Roscoe L. Koontz
Vera Cooper Rubin
Jill Tarter
Neil deGrasse Tyson


Scientist 1:____________
Black hole This astrophysicist was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. He likes to think big. He works as a cosmologist, a person who studies the origin, present state, and future of the universe. One of his greatest contributions has been in the understanding of black holes, which are objects that have such a strong gravitational pull that not even light can escape from them. But even famous scientists sometimes make mistakes. What famous error did this scientist declare in 2004?


Scientist 2: ____________
Satellite Born in France and raised in Germany and California, this scientist already had a successful career in journalism when she returned to school to earn a Ph.D. in physics. She helped develop satellites such as the X-ray Multi-Mirror Satellite observatory, known as the XMM-Newton. She has written more than 100 scientific papers. She is currently chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. She was the youngest person—and first woman—to hold a prestigious NASA position. What was the position?


Scientist 3: ____________
Galaxy Born in The Bronx, New York, in 1959, this scientist's current work focuses primarily on dwarf galaxies and the bulge at the center of the Milky Way. This scientist's sixth-grade homeroom teacher wrote of him: "Less social involvement and more academic diligence is in order." In 1996, he became the youngest-ever director of the world-class Hayden Planetarium in New York City. What inspired this scientist when he was a young boy that caused him to want to pursue a space science career?



Scientist 1: Stephen Hawking (1942-) He conceded his original thinking about black holes was wrong - that information about matter swallowed up in a black hole isn't really lost after all. Scientist 2: France Anne Cordova (1947-) She served as NASA Chief Scientist from 1993-1996. Scientist 3: Neil deGrasse Tyson (1959-) He looked up at the moon through a pair of binoculars.

Learning More

Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Science
by Diane Lindsey Reeves. Facts on File, 1998.
Describes 15 science careers and provides advice on choosing a career direction.

145 Things to Be When You Grow Up
by Jodi Weiss and Russell Kahn. Random House, 2004.
Profiles 145 professions and offers information on high school activities, college majors, and work experience that will help students achieve their career goals.

NASA Quest's Biography and Journal Locator
questdb.arc.nasa.gov/bio_search.htm
Choose job titles or occupations from a list and search for biographies and journals of current NASA employees.

Vocational Information Center
www.khake.com/index.html
Includes information such as daily activities, skill requirements, and salary and training required for a variety of science and engineering jobs.



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